Duterte won't talk about political plans in final SONA â Palace
Following attacks from his political enemies such as former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the 75-year-old leader said he mulled running as vice president to deter his critics from bringing him down.
Presidential Photo/Alfred Frias

Duterte won't talk about political plans in final SONA — Palace

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - July 22, 2021 - 6:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, who has admitted to seriously considering running for vice president, is not expected to talk about his political plans during his final state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday, Malacañang said Thursday.

"Well, perhaps his political plans will not be included. What is important is the roadmap for his last year in office," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Last Wednesday, Roque said Dutetre would look back at his last five years in office and would focus on the Philippines' development, social and infrastructure programs, peace and security, and foreign policy. Duterte would also answer questions on where the Philippines is right now and discuss his priorities during his final year as president, Roque added.  

In an interview with radio station dzRH, Roque said the President would also talk about the government's pandemic response and vaccination program.

He said Duterte's last SONA would also have a director but did not elaborate.

Administration allies have asked Duterte to seek the vice presidency next year, citing the need to continue his accomplishments.

Duterte recently said he was "somehow sold" to the idea of running for the second highest post. The 76-year-old leader, however, has also raised the possibility that he might become an "inutile" if his successor is not his ally.

Last week, Duterte said his frequent mention of a possible vice presidential bid was just meant to scare off his critics. But he also expressed readiness to seek the post "if it is good for the country."

During a meeting of the ruling PDP-Laban party in Clark last Saturday, Duterte said he would run for vice president to gain immunity from suit, noting that his critics had threatened to file charges against him after his term. Some law experts have noted that that there is no provision in the 1987 Constitution granting the privilege to the vice president

Last Monday, Roque said Dutetre's remark about running for vice president to gain immunity is "an opportunity to provoke jurisprudence."

At the same press briefing, Roque, a former law professor, said he does not know of any rule requiring the president to resign if he runs for vice president.
"I do not know of such a rule. In the same way, there is no rule that if a vice president files (a certificate of candidacy for president), she has to quit," he said in Filipino. 

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